Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Kale Salad with Fennel

Warm Kale Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs and Fennel
 As spring reaches full bloom, my craving for fresh, light foods is also ripening.  Produce unavailable for the past several months is slowly but surely reappearing on grocery store shelves. Previously mealy and flavorless tomatoes are replaced by firm, red, mouthwatering spring versions.  In the spirit of transition, here is a lighter meal, but made with ingredients available this time of year, before the growing season is in full swing.

This is a simple and nutritious recipe based on a salad served at Brooklyn restaurant Buttermilk Channel.  Encompassing three of my favorite things, kale (of course), fennel and soft-boiled eggs, this recipe is one of my favorites. 

Kale is a super food.  It has healing properties.  It scours out your digestive system and contains all kinds of valuable nutrients, including vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.  Plus it has a light and slightly bitter flavor that brings interest and zip to many dishes.

Today's Recipe: Warm Kale Spring Salad

Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1-2 serving
Difficulty: Ant Icon 32x32px


½ lb fresh kale of any variety (about 6-7 large leaves)
1 small bulb fresh fennel
1 tps olive oil
½ tsp balsamic vinegar
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste


Begin by soft-boiling eggs according to instructions in the “What’s for Breakfast? Soft Boiled Egg Sandwich” post (3/27/2012), remembering to add eggs to unheated water and allowing them to heat slowly as the water comes to a boil.

While the eggs cook, heat teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan on low to medium-low heat. 

Chop fennel bulb in half and slice into half rounds.  Add to heating oil.  Chop kale into bite-sized pieces and add to sauté. 

Stir regularly and cover, allowing the vegetables to steam lightly.  Be careful not to overcook the kale.  It should be only lightly softened and warmed.  You definitely want it to retain its lovely crunch.  

When kale and fennel are warmed and softened, add vinegar, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.

After eggs have boiled for 5-7 minutes, remove from heat and run cold water over them to stop cooking.  Gently remove eggshells and rinse. 

Serve kale and fennel mixture with eggs.  I like how perfectly pretty the yoke looks when the eggs are sliced merely in half, but they can also be chopped into bite-sized morsels or left whole according to your preference. 

Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and serve.